Cryptographer Ben Laurie, celebrated BitCoin skeptic
, has written a short, provocative paper called An Efficient Distributed Currency
, which proposes a distributed (but not decentralized) alternative. Kevin Marks is excited
: "In effect you're doing an end run around Gresham's law, in the same way that the Brazilian Real did
- and not how the US Govt is doing with dollar coins
." (sidebar: holy cats, that Brazil story is awesome
We need an efficient way to agree the total state of the system (that is, what
coins exist, who has possession of them and the transaction history1 ).
An Efficient and Practical Distributed Currency (links.net)
First, we view the state as a map of coins to purses. This can be represented as
a list of coins, each with the number of the purse it is in. I call this a snapshot.
A snapshot can be hashed by forming an ordered list of the coins and building
a Merkle tree from them. I call this a snapshot hash. Clients can now efficiently
query the current state and check that the results match an agreed snapshot
hash (I will come to how it is agreed later).
A transaction is a change in the state, which can be thought of as a transition
from one snapshot to another. Only two transitions are legal.
First, creation of a new coin. This manifests itself by a new coin record appearing, assigning the coin to some purse.
Second, movement of a coin from one purse to another. This is simply a change
to the appropriate coin record.
A transaction is recorded in the transaction log by appending the snapshot
hash of the new snapshot (and remembering the corresponding state, so it can
An Efficient Distributed Currency (PDF)
(via Epeus' epigone)
With the shambolic FARC peace deal finally in place, the Colombian government is hoping to shift the country’s farmers from Colombia’s major cash crop: the coca leaves that are refined into the world’s cocaine supply. Perhaps with the guerrillas no longer defending the crops they relied on for operating capital, Colombia can put coca behind […]
Last fall, I wrote about the strange case of Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, a left-wing billionaire heir to the Target fortune who came to power and reversed his Republican predecessors’ Reagonomic idiocy, instead raising taxes on rich people, increasing public spending, and creating shared prosperity for the people of Minnesota.
Despite Trump’s denial of climate change the the ghastly attacks on climate science and mitigation in the new proposed budget, the Carbon Bubble — which overprices hydrocarbons and the industries that rely on them, as though we’ll be burning all of them with impunity — is about to pop.
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]